Firstly, my apologies for not posting a blog last week – and not saying that I wouldn’t. Also, don’t get excited with the main picture – we haven’t got a new puppy! Why, later.
I had intended to post something but it would have been fairly short, without many images and run along the lines of ‘although we always seem to have been doing something, it doesn’t feel like we have achieved much this week’.
While we had started a, relatively, major project the week before last, there was fairly little to say and, as one of my most loyal blog readers, Dave’s aunt, had arrived with us the day before, there probably weren’t many people to have read it anyway!
That said, we did have a major milestone for Kergudon (sort of) with our first engagement that took place here. A lovely couple who were staying with us in Priory got engaged and we wish them the best of luck for the future.
The ‘theme’ for this week is sort of similar mostly due to the arrival of my blog reader, which has led to a very sociable week, some late nights and so some fairly gentle days!
The project that we have started (and had hoped to complete fairly quickly) was a renovation of our smallest gîte / B&B, Stable.
We understand that when Kergudon was run as a farm, Stable was the building used to house the bull. We don’t know exactly when it dates from but our guess is probably sometime in the 19th century.
David and I spent 5 nights in Stable when we were house hunting and, as a result, we knew that there was a lot of work to do for us to get it to a state where we were happy for people to stay in. But, as this wasn’t the case just with Stable, in our first 8 months living here in 2015 we spent a lot of time refurbishing all the properties.
As Stable is our smallest space, which we didn’t think would be occupied as much as the larger gîtes, with time so much against us, we did only sufficient to get it to a stage where we felt it at least reflected the quality of Kergudon. One of the more major tasks we did then was to ask a builder to add a new window as previously the only light came in from the patio-style doors at the front. Our webpage and these pictures shows how we made it, but even then knew that there were a number of other things that we wanted to do. Only now has that task come to the top of the list!
Having completely emptied the room it was the best time to do what has been the most unpleasant task I have had to do since living here – the insulation in the loft space. While I have insulated the loft above Hayloft that was relatively easy as there was nothing there initially. Stable however, already had some very old insulation which needed to be removed first and that was nasty!
The loft itself looked like the barn where the spider had settled in the film Arachnophobia and the insulation was old, nasty and had lots of evidence of historic unpaying guests! To do this I made sure I was fully kitted up in face mask, gloves and full ‘CSI’ suit and I’m really glad I did.
Once removed and taken very quickly to the déchetterie, laying some new insulation was a relatively easy task and should make a big difference to heating Stable in the spring and autumn. It also allowed me to clean and reconnect all the tubes to the extractor fan.
The next task was to remove a small area of old lambris (tongue and groove wood) from one of the internal walls. The walls to create the shower room are covered in a stippled sort of plaster but we wanted to replace this with a more traditional covering – more lambris! Erecting this has been pretty quick, and we have been able to incorporate some better lighting than before, and now just needs painting.
Today I started sanding the ceiling which was previously stained dark brown. While this wasn’t awful, it did make the room seem a little dark – although much improved with our new window – and we want to paint it a lighter colour. I think this will be another unpleasant job, thankfully no CSI suit needed however, and will mean that the painting should be far better.
With Dave’s uncle and aunt here I haven’t been as diligent as I should so progress has been slow but, sadly, they leave us tomorrow morning and I should be able to make fairly rapid progress.
We have however had confirmation that Garratt is to be a Dad and the coupling we spoke about a few weeks ago has been successful. We understand the puppies are imminent but, in the last week or so, the owner of the bitch has gone radio silent so assume that they aren’t here yet … We’ll let you know but, in the meantime, thought it was a good chance to share a picture of Garratt’s litter and a couple of him as a pup 4 years ago – just as cute now!